Dodgers take leadHill outduels Arrieta, Grandal hits two-run homer for Game 3 victory in NLCS
Hill outduels Arrieta, Grandal hits two-run homer for Game 3 victory in NLCS
LOS ANGELES — Rich Hill never strayed from his mindset of pitching in the moment, even when he was far from the major leagues playing independent ball with the Long Island Ducks.
Convinced there would be another opportunity to get back to the big leagues, he focused on executing pitches without worrying about his current circumstances.
Fourteen months later, Hill allowed two hits over six innings to beat Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta and the Chicago Cubs 6-0 on Wednesday, giving the Los Angeles Dodgers a 2-1 National League Championship Series lead.
“It’s the biggest game of my career,” Hill said. “It’s just putting in the work, putting in the time, having a routine, persevere, all those things that you can say to sum up some kind of endurance or resiliency. For me, that’s all I’ve ever known is just work.”
Rookie Corey Seager had three hits, including a go-ahead single in the third, and Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run homer in the fourth.
After winning a big league-high 103 games during the regular season and sparking belief they could win the World Series for the first time since 1908, the Cubs have been shut out in consecutive games for the first time since May 2014, managing just six hits — five of them singles. Their 18 straight scoreless innings mark the longest postseason drought in franchise history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“More than anything, I think we need to get a couple runs and hits and runs early to try to get that kind of feeling back,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said, “because, obviously, when you’re not scoring any runs, it makes it even more difficult in the dugout.”
Hill struck out six and walked two, and Joe Blanton, Grant Dayton and Kenley Jansen finished. Playing their 200th postseason game, the Dodgers posted consecutive shutouts for the first time.
Julio Urias starts Game 4 for the Dodgers today and at 20 years, 68 days will become the youngest starting pitcher in postseason history. John Lackey starts for the Cubs.
“He’s not scared of the moment,” Seager said of Urias. “He’s not scared of anything.”
Grandal was 0-fo-5 with three strikeouts against Arrieta in his career before he launched a 3-2 pitch into the right-field pavilion in the fourth for a 3-0 lead.
“He’s been so good for the last couple years just because he doesn’t give in,” Grandal said of Arrieta. “He still made a really good pitch down in the zone. I was just lucky to put a swing on it and hit it out.”
Justin Turner homered on the first pitch leading off the sixth to chase Arrieta, who gave up four runs and six hits in five innings.
Joc Pederson doubled in a run in the eighth and Grandal hit a run-scoring groundout to cap the scoring.
Chicago’s 3-4-5 hitters went 1-for-11 in the game and are 2-for-32 in the series without an RBI.
“There’s no doubt here,” Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant said. “We certainly have all the belief in the world. It’s a powerful thing when you believe.”